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This is how I first introduce colonies (which I realized after teaching it poorly for a year, some kids really struggle to understand what a colony is, why they started, etc.).
This includes 3 days worth of materials.
-Day 1- Power point and note sheet that goes through "What's a colony?" It also explains why people started colonies.
-Day 2/3- Is an awesome activity where the students have to "Create a Colony." They choose where they'd start it, what it would be like, how they'd make money, etc. Then once they've written out how they'd do things and made a plan, they "make it". I show them examples of Farmville and Sims so they have an idea of what they can do.
*Note the last slide of the powerpoint is a physical map, I like to project this while the students are choosing their location so they can know what physical features were in each area.
These activities are great and really get the kids using that higher-order thinking to make informed decisions. I think a variety of age groups could use these lessons with little adaptation.